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« Trump is "fearful," "melting down," "livid" and "lit up" - and never so dangerous | Main | The Great Ryan Skedaddle »

April 11, 2018

Comments

Peter G

And so unnecessary when it comes to that. If you watched what just happened to the ruble and the Russian stock markets, the sanctions against Putin and his circle of Oligarchs was much more effective than any military strike could ever be. I doubt Putin gives a flying fuck what Trump does in Syria. But if the Russian economy continues to tank then Putin will have to care about that.

Peter G

Btw I also take your point about what Canada or Europe or any other nation should be doing. I am not one of those hypocrites who thinks the United States has some moral duty to bear the cost in lives and materiel when the world decides that something is intolerable. Whether that is in Lybia, or Iraq with the Yezidis, or the Balkans or anywhere else moral outrage is insufficient. It is not even necessary for America to always take the lead militarily. That was demonstrated in Lybia.

I will add that this situation is not entirely attributable to Trump. The elder Bush knew how to gather support and create a coalition willing to follow American leadership. So did Bill Clinton. Bush Junior did not. There was a reason other countries committed lives and treasure to Afghanistan but not Iraq. Yet the foolish Iraq war created the impression that America's allies had abandoned her. This is not true as Obama demonstrated with the Iran nuclear deal. When America provides sound leadership others will follow. And we should have more than moral outrage as skin in the game.

The Dark Avenger

You remind me of a certain European leader, who, when offered proof of what he had been told by his American counterpart during a time of crisis, said that the word of the POTUS was sufficient for him.

Peter G

I am certain it still is, to Putin anyway. I find it a little ironic that the same chump who railed against telegraphing your punches militarily elsewhere in the Middle East decided to give advance notice of cruise missiles in Syria. I wonder what the sound of the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff simultaneously slapping their heads is like?

shsavage

The advance warning is to give the Russians and Syrians time to get their assets out of the target area before the strike. The same thing happened about a year ago, when the US dropped a few on a Syrian airbase following reports of a gas attack. It was telegraphed ahead of time, and even I was able to see that in the ensuing satellite imagery there was no evidence of any military hardware having been destroyed. Just a few holes in the runway and a hanger--easily repaired withing 24 hours, and everything was back to business-as-usual. So rather than Putin's seeing this as saber-rattling, he's probably already passed his thanks on to his chosen puppet.

L. Reeves

I hadn't thought of this, and it's a very good possibility. Because it sure has been strange to see Trump suddenly call Putin out, by name even. It seemed risky for Trump but if you're right, then it's actually another favor to Putin.

And PM's stance that the U.S. via Trump has squandered its moral authority and should do nothing, is also a very good point. I didn't see that coming but I agree with it. The U.S. will have to re-earn respect and moral authority once Trump is gone.

ren

And the coordinates.

Peter G

Trump has made the job of ensuing presidents all the harder. It will not be easy and some bells cannot be unrung. How long will it be before foreign leaders will again trust the word of an American president I cannot say. They will want to trust that word. Friends or enemies or non-aligned they need to know what is bullshit and what is not.

shsavage

I pay very close attention to satellite imagery in the region, as I'm running a crowdsourcing mission to record damage to archaeological sites caused by the war, looting, and development. We've had about 300 people, mostly students, looking at nearly 11,000 sites for the past two and a half years, and our findings get reported back to the State Department via the American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiative. See http://asorblog.org/2016/05/31/11930/. I've been looking at aerial photographs and satellite imagery from the are for more than 40 years. So I could easily see that in the attack carried out last spring there was very little actual damage, and none to military hardware.

shsavage

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-will-reportedly-warn-russia-where-us-will-strike-in-syria-2018-4

SR

Is there evidence that this was Assad? It doesn't make sense to me. Trump announced he wanted American troops out of Syria. That was a big win for Assad. Why would he risk doing something to make the US rethink that decision?

Doesn't it seem more likely that the gas attack was perpetrated by a group that wanted to keep the US actively engaged in Syria?

tamiasmin

A few more ruined buildings will hardly be noticed in that ruined country. But I wish we could be spared the moral outrage from a man who has nominated for CIA director an enabler and defender of torture.

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